Our Local Offer
Local Offer - SEND
How does the early years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)?
We ask you, the parents/carers, to complete an 'All about Me' checklist before your child starts at Hedgehogs Nursery School. This gives us a ‘starting point’ as to where your child is and if there is likely to be any intervention needed. We observe all children on a daily basis and are able to assess if there are any changes in Learning and Development that may cause concern or are not in line with expectations for a child of their age. Each child is given a Key Person who is responsible for keeping your child’s Learning Journal up to date and will meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your child’s learning. They will always discuss with you any concerns you may have and you can always speak with them for help and advice. You can speak to your doctor, health visitor or local children’s centre if you feel your child has additional needs, they may be able to refer you to a specialist who can further advise you.
How will early years setting staff support my child?
Your key person will talk to you first of all and then discuss the issues with the SENCO. Together they will work out strategies to help your child move forward. Each child is supported, according to their individual needs, in a nurturing and encouraging environment by your child's key person and all the team. Good communication between you, your child and your key person will support and guide your child, interacting with them, playing with them, helping, supporting and encouraging them throughout their time with us. We have an ‘open door’ policy which allows you to speak with your key person or a manager when required, although verbal feedback is given at collection time on your child’s day. Individual progress is constantly monitored using tools such as Every Child A Talker (ECAT) for speech development and their next steps are always discussed and agreed with you. Individual Play Plans (IPP) are kept under constant review and updated as felt appropriate to ensure that they are successfully meeting the current needs of your child. If you have given your agreement for the early years specialists to support us to help your child, you will be invited to attend their regular review meetings for feedback on your child’s progress and their suggestions for the way ahead.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Our curriculum, which is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), is open-ended to cater for the wide variety of needs, interests and learning styles for each of the individual children who attend. From our observations and assessments we are able to write 'Next Steps' for all children. These are done on a termly basis and are shared with parents/carers. Next steps are written for individual children with their specific needs in mind. Our planning, therefore, reflects the needs of individual children and can target areas of the provision which need to be enhanced. We differentiate for children by expectations of outcome and by tailoring the activity so that it is accessible to all children. If deemed appropriate an Individual Play Plan (IPP) will be put in place. Your child's key Person will work with you and alongside your child to encourage successful outcomes for your child across the curriculum discussing the opportunities for professional support if deemed necessary.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Our ‘open door’ policy allows parents/carers to speak with the staff when necessary. We always welcome parents/carers to come into our nursery and observe their child in the setting as well as sharing with you, your child’s ‘next steps’. Through our observations and assessments both as a group and individually, we will be able to look at how your child is progressing and share these findings with you. We will be able to give you suggestions to use at home when interacting with your child. We carry out a ‘2 year progress check’ before your child’s 3rd birthday. We work closely with ‘outside agencies’ and other settings your child may attend to provide the support to enhance their learning. Your child’s learning journal is available for you to look at through a ‘cloud’ at all times via a unique login. We invite all parents/carers to regular information events.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Your child’s Key person and the SENCO will work closely with you as parents/carers to ensure your child has access to the best possible outcomes. We welcome input from specialist teams such as FIRST, speech and language, Health Visitor and Occupational health. We have policies which set out how we deal with administering medication, Health and Safety, inclusion and behavioural issues. Our setting seeks to ensure all children’s personal care is well supported and they are encouraged to be independent. We have many Risk Assessments covering all aspects of our provision. Our staff attend relevant training and are all DBS cleared. All our policies are available in the setting for parents to look at when required. Every child is unique and the ‘child’s voice’ is very important to ensure a child led environment, understanding how each child likes to learn. This is also reflected when setting ‘next steps’ and planning.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
Over the years we have worked with children with a range of SEND and a wide range of support services and we will continue to do this, to offer the best support we can for you and your child. Our staff are skilled and experienced with early years and attend further training on all aspects of SEND in early years whenever possible. Our SENCO will write Individual Play Plans (IPP) to meet the needs of children with SEND. The SENCO will write reports for use within the nursery and for outside agencies and they contribute to meetings to provide a co-ordinated assessment and planning process for children with SEND.
7. What training have the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
Mrs Mack has over 16 year experience of working in an Early Years Setting, and with children with SEND. She is always happy to discuss any concerns you may have. Mrs Atkinson has extensive knowledge of pre-school children attending a vast amount of training. All our staff have attended many relevant courses including Child protection, first aid, Inclusion, promoting positive behaviour and SEND. Three of the staff have an NVQ 3 one has an NVQ 4 and two are working towards their NVQ 3.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including trips?
At Hedgehogs Nursery School we have an inclusive policy and will always try to accommodate the children within our setting in activities and trips we arrange. Careful consultation with their parents/carers is very important to ensure we include everyone. Permission forms will be signed by all the parents/carers of the children involved. We will have a ratio of 1:2 minimum and parents and carers are invited to join us on the outing if they would like to do so. When planning outings and activities outside the setting we considered carefully the requirements of all who attend and conduct a robust risk assessment that takes into account the needs of all children.
9. How accessible is the early years setting environment (indoors & outdoors)?
Our setting is fully accessible to people with disabilities, with ramps and level floors into the setting. The inside area is on one level and is laid out to allow access around all the activities. All the tables and chairs are at child height and suitable for all children regardless of ability. There is a visual timetable on display and we have a large amount of resources and equipment available should your child need it. We have access to interpreters if English is not the primary spoken language so we can discuss your child’s needs. There is a large disabled toilet with hand rails and a toilet frame. All the sinks and toilets in the children’s cloakroom are at child height. Our large outside area is flat and has a large paved area to the front with a slope up to the garden area. We will always communicate with parents/carers prior to your child starting to ensure we address any requirements you may have.
10. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?
Both you and your child are invited to introduction sessions before your child starts at Hedgehogs. This is an opportunity for you and your child to meet the staff and Key person, for you to see the nursery in action and for your child to feel safe and settled. There are no limits on the number of sessions your child might need. We operate an ‘open door’ policy and will always update you at home time on your child’s day. We have an information sheet entitled 'What if my child won’t settle?' for parents to take which offers support and strategies to help your child to settle happily. Local schools visit the nursery in the summer term to meet the children moving on to ‘big school’. We will discuss any concerns we have about how a child might find this transition into the new environment, along with any strategies with you as parents/carers as well as the new school. We will attend ‘transition meetings’ with your child's new primary school where it is felt a special plan is needed. During the summer term we ask all children that are going to primary school in the next September, to bring in a PE kit, so that we can help them practice getting changed in preparation for school. Children are encourage to bring a ‘healthy’ packed lunch in so that they learn to sit and eat with their peers and feel confident asking for help in opening packages in preparation for school. Your children's Learning Journals will be passed on electronically to their next school with your permission.
11. How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We have a variety of resources available for your child to use. How we use these resources is dependent on each individual child’s needs. Should we need more resources we can ask the specialist early years team for support and access the toy library. We will always consult you as parents to ensure our resources are appropriate for your child.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The needs of your child will be discussed by the SENCO, INCO and Key person with your involvement. An IPP is developed and strategies are put into place. This will be monitored and regularly reviewed by the Key person and you. Help will be sought by outside agencies when necessary with your permission. The decision about what type and how much support your child will receive is based on their perceived level of need. Through observations, Next steps and IPP’s we will assess your child and discuss our findings with you. Together with your Key person and SENCO we will put forward suggestions for the way ahead. If there is a clear level of need, we will seek advice and support from outside agencies such as the FIRST team. The number of days your child attends and any additional funding agreed will impact the support available.
13. How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
We welcome you to be involved in the life of the nursery in many ways. We ask for your suggestions for improvement on a regular basis through questionnaires and a suggestion box. We encourage you to come and to share any talents that you might have with the children: these might be musical, creative, a foreign language, craft, sport, cookery, IT or DT. Some parents come on a regular basis, others as a one off visit. We invite you to join us on our walks and outings. We have a ‘letter, colour or number’ of the week and encourage your child to bring in objects that support our weekly theme that your child can talk about and share with us. We have information sessions that you are invited to. You are invited in each term to talk about your child’s ‘Next Steps’ or ‘IPP’, there are a variety of ‘Information sheets’ to support families that feel they would benefit from them. We send out half termly letters giving you our topics and other news. This information can also be found on our web site and face book page. Our topics and planning is displayed on a notice board for you to look at. At the end of each session we will place an information board outside so you can see ‘what the children have been doing today’ this can help you to talk to your child about their day.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
Within the setting please talk to Mrs Mack . For outside agencies:- The Family & Children’s Information Service: 01243 77807 or The Children and Family Centre in Haywards Heath: 01444 255499. These agencies offer a wide range of help and support such as Speech and Language drop in sessions and a toy library. They are a fantastic support group.